The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in collaboration with the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) published a report on Tuesday titled ‘An Inquiry of India's App Economy’. The report was released by, R Chandrasekhar, President, NASSCOM, Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive of ICRIER, Dilip Chenoy, MD and CEO, National Skill Development Corporation and Dr. Subho Ray, President, IAMAI.
According to the report, even though smartphone penetration in India is estimated at less than 20 per cent, the country experiences 100 million downloads per month, placing it amongst the top five regions for Google Play, the official Android app store. The number of 3G SIMs in India is also expected to increase from 35 million in 2012 to 272 million by 2017. India contributes significantly to app development as roughly ten per cent of apps worldwide are developed by Indians, either based abroad or at home.
Speaking at the launch, Chandrasekhar said, “Digitisation of data at source is critical and therefore mobile is the way forward to speed up the implementation of projects. Mobile apps offer an interesting way of digitisation and save both time and money, but the challenge is to create a conducive ecosystem. Harmonious commercial synergies between app developers and telecom operators have to be created. App development, coupled with infrastructure development will lead to the growth of the app economy.”
The report illustrates four scenarios that determine the range of potential employment that can be generated by the app economy in India. These are Business As Usual (BAU) with no regulatory intervention, Mature Industry (IM) with high smartphone penetration and data usage, Government Intervention (GI) providing digital infrastructure enabling demand, Aggressive Government Intervention (AGI) and Mature Industry (IM).
Rajat Kathuria said, “The increase in start-ups, coupled with an enhanced ecosystem could create employment opportunities. At present, the app economy has created approximately 75,000 direct jobs, and has the potential to reach six lakhs over a period of time, due to indirect and induced impacts of app development.”
“NSDC looks forward to partner with the digital industry to help augment skill development. We are happy to support IAMAI to develop competency frameworks and explore how to create exponential growth in the apps market in newer areas”, said Chenoy on NDSC’s partnership with the digital industry.
Providing insights on the report, Ray opined, “India’s app economy is at the cusp of exponential growth. With e-commerce companies going mobile only and unprecedented growth in the hyper local segment, the industry will not be surprised to witness a faster growth rate than projected in the report.”